Tag Archive for e-scooters

Morning Links: LA traffic deaths going the wrong way, chaos on the streets of LA, and birth of a Long Beach bike lane

Looks like LA’s Vision Zero efforts could use a little more vision.

Or maybe a lot more effort.

According to Curbed, at least 240 people were killed in traffic collisions last year — 57 more than 2015, when Mayor Eric Garcetti called for a 20% reduction in traffic deaths by 2017.

So much for that.

An executive directive issued by the mayor at that time called for a 20 percent reduction in deaths by 2017, with an emphasis on preventing “pedestrian fatalities involving older adults and children.” Traffic deaths rose 38 percent in 2016 and have fallen just 5 percent since then.

The transportation department’s initial count, which does not yet include the final two days of the year, also indicates that 127 pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2018. That’s down slightly from the 135 pedestrian deaths recorded in 2017, but it’s the second-highest total in the last 15 years.

And nearly as many bike riders were killed in the City of Angels last year — 21 — as all the traffic deaths of any kind in San Francisco, where they actually take Vision Zero seriously.

The mayor’s office argues, contrary to the widespread perception that little or nothing has been done to implement Vision Zero, that the city has made over 1,000 safety improvements over the past three years.

Which works out to just 333 a year.

But even if we accept that total, 1,000 improvements in a city the size of Los Angeles makes a drop in the bucket look like a tidal wave.

And those improvements have represented a form of timid incrementalism. None have been the kind of bold, wholesale changes the city would need to meet that failed 2017 reduction of just 20%.

Let alone put the city on the road to actually eliminating traffic deaths by 2025.

Which ain’t gonna happen.

But still, it’s cute the city still pretends that zero traffic deaths by 2025 is possible, as if closing our eyes, crossing our fingers and wishing really hard will make it happen.

Actually ending traffic deaths will takes major changes to the streets to slow traffic, encourage active transportation and get people out of their cars.

Let alone the political courage to actually make it happen.

One other quick note on the piece.

I’m told new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman was quoted accurately in the piece, but misspoke.

Kaufman says building community support for road diets and other measures will take time, though he argues that making the city safer is about more than individual projects.

“Infrastructure doesn’t save lives; culture does,” he says, arguing that it’s important for people to consider the safety of others when moving around the city.

What he really meant to say, my sources tell me, was that infrastructure alone doesn’t save lives.

As the story notes, both Kaufman and the LACBC both remain firmly in the pro-infrastructure camp.

But he’s right.

If Vision Zero is ever going to have a significant impact in this city — let alone actually end traffic deaths — we have to change the culture that cars are king on the streets of Los Angeles.

And everyone else needs to get the hell out of the way.

Photo by Clifford Phillips.

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A Canadian writer offers a somewhat happier perspective on LA traffic.

…Forget the “war on the car.” In Los Angeles, every conceivable form of transportation is competing against the other.

It’s chaotic. It’s messy. It’s beautiful. It’s brilliant. It is, in short, California.

Works for me.

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Long Beach captures the birth of a bike lane.

Thanks to USC Cycling for the heads-up.

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Local

Curbed offers what they term the ultimate guide to Dodgers Stadium, including advice to ditch the car and ride a bike.

Bicyclists confront the Pasadena city council, blaming the city manager for reconfiguring the long-time Rose Bowl loop and the injuries one rider suffered as a result.

Speaking of Pasadena, KCBS-2 lists the Rose City’s four best bike shops.

State

The 20th anniversary Sharon’s Ride rolls around San Diego’s Mission Bay this Sunday to raise funds for the Epilepsy Foundation.

An Indian Wells bicyclist is in critical condition after reportedly crashing into the rear of a stationary minivan; no word on how or why the crash happened. Thanks to John McBrearty for the tip.

Berkeley struggles to match its neighbor across the bay, as San Francisco moves forward with Vision Zero. Although San Francisco isn’t getting it exactly right, either.

Evidently, the local homeowner’s association isn’t a fan of the handmade bike jump track built by a 12-year old Danville boy.

A Sacramento pedestrian suffered major injuries in a crash with a rider on a motorized bicycle.

Los Angeles NIMBYs could take lessons from a Sacramento preservation group, which somehow opposes removing abandoned railroad tracks and a burned-out bridge to install a five mile bike path.

Vacaville police use Facebook to reunite a two-year old with her lost tricycle.

National

Outside looks at the best bike shops in the US. But can’t seem to find one in Southern California.

Peloton pinkie swears not to use any more songs without permission.

Your next tube could be lighter, stronger — and butyl.

An Oregon bill would make it clear that bike lanes continue through an intersection, whether or not it’s actually painted.

Seattle chooses parking over safety, rejecting long planned bike lanes on a dangerous street; a local TV station looks at the bitter politics of bike lanes and parking. That last story could run in just about any US city, including Los Angeles. Okay, especially Los Angeles.

A local radio station says despite being named America’s best bike city, Seattle will never be a bicycling city, because of too any hills and too much rain.

Spokane shows an uncommon degree of common sense, suspending the city’s bike helmet requirement for dockless bikeshare and e-scooter users, since few people walk around with helmets 24/7.

Utah legalizes lane filtering for motorcyclists, allowing riders to split lanes when traffic is stopped on roads with a speed limit of 45 mph or less. The story doesn’t mention whether that would extend to people on bicycles.

A Denver woman expands a popular bike and coffee shop into the space next door to open a tandem bike-themed bar.

A Colorado op-ed suggests when you’re the mayor, you can get away with hitting a bike rider after an illegal U-turn. Especially if the victim is homeless. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa woman will spend the next five years behind bars for intentionally ramming her car into a woman riding a bicycle, then getting out of her car and repeatedly punching her; she accused the woman of sleeping with her baby daddy.

Scary story from Texas, where a woman nearly lost a finger when the chain came off her ebike, and engine engaged while she was trying to put it back on; fortunately, a Good Samaritan came to her aid.

Baltimore prepares to approve new rules for dockless e-scooters, after removing a provision that called for jail time for rule breakers.

A kindhearted stranger reached out to buy a new bike for a mobility-challenged Louisiana man after his was stolen. But what will he do with it now that police have recovered his original bike from a scrap yard?

International

A new Canadian study confirms what we’ve already seen — people who live close to high-quality bike and pedestrian infrastructure are more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity, and to be in better health.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, riding through London’s Notting Hill neighborhood.

A British bicyclist is planning to ride 3,300 miles across the US to raise funds and awareness for the Diana Award, after bonding with Princes Harry and Andrew when he lost his own mother in a car crash at 17.

Unlike most cities, Paris actually does something about bike theft, installing a series of locked shelters throughout the city.

Competitive Cycling

Disturbing story from a British Paralympian who endured years of vulva pain and swelling from rubbing against poorly designed saddles when she rides.

An Argentine cyclist faces a four year ban for being just the latest to get busted for doping with EPO. Seriously, if the era of doping over, why do so many dopers keep getting caught?

Finally…

Even the Car Talk guys hated cars. Bikes hardly ever burst into flames, though ebike batteries are changing that.

And your next Colnago could run on batteries.

But hopefully, not burst into flames.

Morning Links: Scooter rider killed in SaMo, others injured; dangerous drivers; and Marathon Crash is back

It’s been a rough few days in Santa Monica.

Starting with the death of a man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park neighborhood Friday night.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding a privately owned e-scooter headed south on the 2700 block of Third Street, when he apparently fell off and was struck by the driver’s car.

The driver initially stopped but fled the scene before police and paramedics arrived.

That was followed by another crash in front of the Santa Monica Public Library on Sunday afternoon.

A teenaged girl described as an experienced bicyclist suffered a broken jaw when she was struck by the driver of a Metro bus while riding in the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd.

Unfortunately, no other details are available.

David Drexler came upon the scene shortly after the crash, and took photos of the scene.

Unfortunately, things didn’t get any better on Monday.

Evan Burbridge came across the aftermath of another scooter rider who struck by a driver.

I just saw the aftermath of a woman hit by a car here in Santa Monica.  She was riding north on 14th across Olympic and the car was turning left onto Olympic.  My coworkers actually saw the incident, and she apparently went onto the driver’s windshield and broke it.  By the time I got there, all I saw was the ambulance driving her away and the mangled scooter on the center median.  

The frustrating thing is the conversations I had with people after the incident.  A woman at Tacos Por Favor who saw the accident said we should ban all scooters.  I informed her that it sounded like it was the car’s fault, and that cars cause hundreds of deaths every day in America.  Then, my coworkers used the classic victim-blaming argument, “she should have been wearing a helmet.”  

I try my best to explain the facts to people, and point out their biased perspective on the incident, but it’s so deep seeded that I don’t think people will ever let it go.

Then again, things weren’t much better in Los Angeles, where Josh Steich, aka Kierkegaarden Cop, reported seeing the aftermath of a crash involving a bike rider on his commute through Eagle Rock Friday evening.

That was followed by another crash involving a pedestrian a few minutes and several block later.

No word on the condition of either victim.

Let’s hope all the victims make a full and fast recovery. And offer our deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim of Friday’s night’s scooter crash.

Photo is of a broken Lime scooter on my block in Hollywood.

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Today’s common theme is justice for dangerous — and too often deadly — drivers.

An unlicensed Colorado driver got six years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; she had a string of traffic violations dating back to 2005.

A drunken, hit-and-run driver was sentenced to up to 15 years for killing an Indiana bike rider; she was over twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

And a Florida drunk driver got a well deserved nine years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider. He fled the scene, leaving the victim lying in the street, where he was run over by another driver; it was the second crash that actually killed him.

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The war on bikes continues. Except this time, it’s another bike rider who kicked the victim off his bike, leaving him in critical condition.

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Local

Downtown News looks at the 15 new drop zones for dockless bikes and e-scooters in DTLA.

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo continues his one man war against any form of transportation with less than four wheels, as he attempts to ban e-scooters from Chinatown in DTLA, as well as the rest of his district.

LAist wants to hear your complaints about parking in Los Angeles. And yes, that includes parking in bike lanes.

Los Feliz residents are calling for improvements on deadly Hyperion Avenue, two years after they first raised the alarm — and before a woman was killed by an out-of-control driver as she stood on the sidewalk. Needless to say, they’ve never received a response.

The Urbanist talks with LA chief design officer Christopher Hawthorne about the disastrous green bike lane blunder on Spring Street in DTLA.

A spokesman for the twice-weekly Rose Bowl Ride says Pasadena’s recent safety improvements are just an attempt to kill the 60-year old ride, and do nothing to make it safer for pedestrians and casual bicyclists.

Pasadena Now looks forward to this weekend’s Bike MS:Los Angeles, as 500 bicyclists are expected to turn out for the annual century ride, with a goal of raising $750,000 for research.

It looks like the unofficial LA Marathon Crash Ride is unofficially back this Sunday, after a failed attempt to make it legit. And more expensive.

State

A writer for the San Bernardino Sun explains how people should drive around hoverboard users, which basically boils down to use a little caution and courtesy, and don’t be a dick — on both sides.

San Francisco extended a protected bike lane in record time following the death of a bike rider, making advocates wonder why they can’t do that all the time.

National

I want to be like them when I grow up. A pair of bighearted, 82-year old Tucson bicyclists help refurbish used bikes for kids, as part of a group that gives away over 300 bicycles a year.

Yes, you can still race a Penny Farthing in Texas.

A Wisconsin lawmaker proposes expunging the record of first-time drunk drivers in an apparent attempt to keep dangerous drivers on the road. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?

A Chicago area official was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was run down by a teenage driver who didn’t bother to scrape the frost off his windshield, even though he was riding on an eight-foot shoulder; the driver walked with a couple of tickets.

Chicago bike riders share their stories of being attacked fists, fluids and motor vehicles after confronting drivers parked in bike lanes.

New Jersey legalized ebikes and e-scooters, with a maximum speed of 20 mph and 19 mph, respectively.

International

It may be counterintuitive, but docked bikeshare systems and dockless bikeshare can flourish in the same city. Which offers hope for LA’s Metro Bike.

A tech industry analyst says forget bicycling, the micromobility revolution will be motorized.

Forbes highlights five exotic bicycling adventures, from a mountain bike safari from Zululand to Mozambique, to a coast-to-coast crossing of Sri Lanka. If you happen to have an extra several thousand dollars lying around.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker skillfully dismantles the latest misguided proposal to require licenses and liability insurance for bike riders in the UK.

A Scottish woman got her bike back six weeks after it was stolen after she confronted the teenager riding it, with the help of her boyfriend and a security guard.

Turns out the US ambassador to Greece is one of us, too.

A Maltese bike advocate says it’s very clear that whoever wrote the country’s bicycling strategy doesn’t ride a bike.

Competitive Cycling

Once again a young cyclist has been killed in collision; 19-year old Stefan Loos died when a race marshal mistakenly sent a group of riders off the course, where they collided with a delivery van.

Finally…

Who needs an ebike when you can power one with compressed air? Your next bike used to be a wine barrel.

And yes, you can be charged with DUI, whether or not you’re on four wheels.

Even if you’re on four hooves.

Morning Links: LACBC needs your help, legal dockless scooters coming to LA, and protected bike lanes for LA County

And, we’re back.

For now, anyway.

It’s going to be a long and difficult haul to regain full use of my knee and the leg it’s attached to following my recent knee replacement.

While the pain is greatly improved, it’s going to be around for awhile. Along with a mind-muddling mix of diabetes, neuropathy and pain meds. And the ever-changing array of medieval torture devices and exercises my surgeon and therapists have in store.

So if I have to miss a few days here and there, please accept my apologies in advance.

But I’ll do my best to be here for you every morning.

And keep you up to date on all the latest bike news and advocacy.

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Let’s start with some difficult news from Eli Akira Kaufman, the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Two months ago, I joined LACBC as Executive Director because I believe that everybody has the right to travel our streets safely. One thing that was clear to me from my years as a member of the Coalition and rolling with friends and family on the LA River Ride was how tight knit the community is – especially the LACBC staff.

Through all the twists and turns, this team has worked tirelessly to grow LACBC into an organization of which we can all be proud. As a small but powerful team, they have done an incredible job working to make the entire County of Los Angeles a safer region for people on bikes, on foot, and in automobiles. When I was hired, the organization was already in the process of evaluating our overall financial health. Last month, it became clear that LACBC could no longer support the status quo with our current budget. As a result, we have had to make difficult decisions, including having to move one staffer to a part-time role as two other team members departed to pursue other opportunities.

These changes are as heartbreaking as they are challenging, because Dana, Lyndsey, and Cesar are family to us. Their contributions can not be overstated and their daily passion, creativity and thoughtfulness will be deeply missed. With this in mind, I wanted to make sure that each of them had the opportunity to speak to our larger LACBC family, as we’ve all benefited from the impact they have made – and will continue to make – in our community.

Sources tell me the problems stem, at least in part, from the long leadership vacuum caused by former LACBC ED Erik Jansen when he stepped down after just seven months on the job. Not to mention a troubling degree of disengagement while he was still on the job.

Which means it’s been nearly two years since the coalition has seen effective leadership. And that’s taken a serious toll on their finances.

If you’re wondering what you can do to help, the answer is simple.

Open your wallet.

If you’re an LACBC member, renew your membership. If not, join today. Or make a contribution.

A big one, if you can.

All to help LA County’s leading bike advocacy group get back to fighting for your rights and safety on the streets, and in the civic offices of the county’s many communities.

I’m on a tight budget myself these days, as I await an avalanche of medical bills. But I’ll be renewing my LACBC membership early to help out.

It’s the least I can do.

Unfortunately, it’s also the most I can do right now.

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Los Angeles is about to be flooded with scooters and dockless bikes, as the city’s one-year pilot program is ready for kickoff.

DTLA is getting new scooter and bikeshare parking zones similar to the ones in Santa Monica; unfortunately, they’re on the sidewalk instead of the street.

However, the city’s new data sharing requirement means that LA officials will now be tracking every trip you take on them, everywhere you go. Politico calls it the next data privacy fight.

So depending on where you’re going and why, you might want to choose another form of transportation if your privacy matters to you.

Meanwhile, City Lab says maybe the solution to dockless bikeshare and e-scooters is to bring back the docks.

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Big news from LA County, where county supervisors approved a motion by 1st District Supervisor Hilda Solis to consider adding protective barriers to new and existing bike lanes in unincorporated areas.

Which doesn’t, despite breathless proclamations from some quarters, mean the county will suddenly start sprouting protected bike lanes.

But assuming it goes beyond just studying, it could be a big step in the right direction.

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Is it just me, or does new e-scooter provider Wheels not have a clue who their target market is?

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Unbelievable. An Oakland man is living proof that you can chase a woman down with your car, knock her off her bike, steal her cellphone, and threaten her with a gun. And not spend a single day behind bars.

A Cleveland woman with an extensive criminal record will spend the next five years behind bars after intentionally running down a man as he was riding his bicycle; she accused him of robbing her, though police said they knew each other.

A DC motorist is under arrest after throwing a beer at a bike rider from a moving car — then flashing a knife at the victim when he came back for a cellphone, which he had inconveniently dropped while flinging his brew.

Caught on video: A Virginia driver tries to intentionally run down a bicyclist, even following him onto the wrong side of the road as the rider attempted to get out of his way.

And no surprise here, as a new study shows many drivers see bike riders as less than fully human, and that dehumanization makes them likely to act aggressively towards people on two wheels as a result.

……..

Always inspect your bike before a ride.

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Local

Bike people aren’t always the good guys. The LAPD is looking for a man who rode his bike up to a Reseda home, and snatched a teacup Yorkie off the porch before riding off.

Bad news for long-time Sherman Oaks bike shop The Bike Connection, which suffered an attic fire Friday night; no word on how much damage the fire caused the 40-year old shop.

Pasadena has reconfigured the popular Rose Bowl loop, forcing the hundreds of bicyclists who turn out for an informal, twice weekly ride to slow at a key intersection; riders say it just increases the risk for everyone.

Forty-four palm trees could stand in the way of a Long Beach complete streets project, including new sidewalks and bike lanes.

State

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong? An Orange County state legislator has introduced a bill that would add two speed-limit free lanes to the I-5 and State Route 99, allowing drivers to go as fast as they damn well please.

Bird gives Thousand Oaks exactly that, telling the city to forget about those plans to bring scooters to its streets.

Kindhearted Fresno cops pitched in to buy a boy a new bike when they were unable find the one he got for his birthday after it was stolen.

After a San Francisco woman was killed riding her bike, over 100 people turned out to form a people-protected bike lane to call for more permanent, non-human protection. The city responded right away by extending the street’s protected bike lane, though only by two blocks. And needless to say, the driver who caused the crash by dooring her, forcing her into the path of a truck, won’t face charges.

San Francisco safety advocates say the city’s Vision Zero program is doomed to fail without improved metrics, better transit, and rock-solid commitments. The same could be said for its bigger state mate to the south. And has been.

Sacramento plans a crackdown on illegally parked dockless Jump ebikes and e-scooters; the city is the first where Jump bikes are more popular than parent company Uber.

The annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show opened in Sacramento, both Pink Bike and Cycling Tips hit the highlights.

The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir is one of us. Or used to be, anyway.

National

A bipartisan bill would restore the commuter bike benefits that were removed under the Trump tax plan, and extend it to bikeshare and ebike users.

Your next bike could be lighter and stiffer than aluminum and cheaper than carbon fiber. And made from the same stuff they make matches out of.

An Arizona paper takes a deep dive into the Uber self-driver car crash that killed Elaine Herzberg as she rode her bike across a Tempe street, in an effort to determine who’s really at fault. Unfortunately, they conclude that no one will be held accountable for her death.

After riding from her home to the state capital earlier this year, a New Mexico lawmaker wants to make it the nation’s most popular state for bikepacking.

Maybe they don’t want us there. A new tourism video for South Dakota’s Black Hills shows hikers, hunters, fishermen, equestrians, cars, trucks and canoes. Bicycles, not so much. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

They get it. An Amarillo TX radio station says bikeshare and e-scooters are great, but where are the bike lanes to support them?

They get it, too. After a bicyclist was killed, the Houston Chronicle questions why the city continues to build unsafe streets.

A Pennsylvania Home Depot gave a new bike to one of their employees after his was stolen; the local police department also pitched in $800 to help the 21-year old autistic man get a new Trek.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, as the paparazzi caught him riding his bike in New York’s East Village.

Rent a Baltimore apartment, and get a new bike instead of a parking space.

International

An Ottawa letter writer says yes, we need to get more people on bicycles, but calls a new bicycle intersection as useless as Captain Hook’s other glove.

A Prince Edward Island man showed his 19-year old daughter some tough love, calling the police after she failed to return a bicycle she’d taken from his home without permission, in hopes it would force her to get help for her drug addiction.

No bias here. After an English bike rider gave police bike cam video of a dangerous pass, they responded with a ticket. For him.

A British lord, who previously claimed — without evidence — that bike lanes cause pollution is now calling for licensing and insuring bicyclists.

That’s more like it. An Irish hit-and-run driver got five years behind bars for seriously injuring a bike rider while driving without a license.

An Irish official had to apologize for comparing bicyclists to Nazis, saying he’s one himself. A cyclist, that is, not a Nazi.

Why pay to ride indoors, when you can turn a profit by using your stationary bike as an artisanal, organic cocoa grinder, like this one in the Ivory Coast.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a South African man used his bicycle to save a young boy from a pair of rampaging Rottweilers.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list: Shredding Indonesia’s smallest and most secluded bike park.

A Singaporean writer bemoans the death of dockless bikeshare in the island city-state, following the collapse of Chinese bikeshare providers.

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling is establishing a fund to honor 23-year old pro cyclist and Olympic medalist Kelly Catlin, who took her own life earlier this month; family members have donated her brain for study to determine if a recent concussion could have caused her rapid descent into depression.

Family and friends remember Tate Meintjes, calling his death a huge loss, after the 19-year old cyclist was killed preparing for the Redlands Classic.

Paralyzed German track cyclist Kristina Vogel now has her own doll as part of Mattel’s Shero program.

Road.cc offers highlights of pissed-off cyclists in the pro peloton.

Finally…

If you’re going to fake a bike wreck and claim a driver hit you, try to make sure there aren’t any witnesses.

This is why you don’t casually stroll across a bike race.

And apparently, turkeys have learned how to cork.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that last link.

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Thanks to Margaret W and John L for their generous donations to support this site. Or maybe for my new knee.

Or both.

Morning Links: LA as West Coast e-scooter capital, vehicular murder slap on wrist, and CiclaValley takes a spill

Assistant Director of LA Bureau of Street Services Greg Spotts says Los Angeles could become the shared mobility capital of the West Coast.

Spotts notes that 11 companies have applied to provide a total of 37,000 e-scooters, dockless bikes and ebikes to the mean streets of LA.

The city has a series of community meetings coming up to discuss dockless mobility, starting with one in DTLA on the 26th.

Putting 37,000 alternatives to driving on the street is a good thing. But key to the success of any dockless mobility program is providing safe places to ride and park them.

Hopefully, this will spur development of the city bike plan, as city leaders finally recognize the need for safety. And drivers are more willing to sacrifice a few feet of roadway to get scooters out of their way.

It could happen.

The city also needs to provide on-street parking facilities — ideally converting one parking space per block for e-scooter and bike parking.

We should also require every e-scooter to be equipped with a low-volume beeping device to warn pedestrians when one is approaching. And let people with limited sight know when one is parked in their way.

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Talk about getting the story wrong.

Yesterday we linked to a Kansas story about a teen driver getting a reduced sentence for killing a bike rider in a hit-and-run, but criticized the paper for leaving out just how long he would be behind bars.

Apparently, they left a lot more than that out.

Like actual length of the sentence, which turned out to be just two years — far less than the 16 years the prosecution requested.

Not to mention the fact that the crash was intentional.

A passenger in his car told police the driver passed the man as he was riding in the opposite direction, and made a U-turn to deliberately run him down from behind before fleeing the scene.

And never mind that the victim was Latino and the driver was white, giving a racial tint to both the murder and the lack of justice. .

Amazingly, the judge excused the driver’s behavior because of his young age, clean record and that he had accepted responsibility. Although that came long after he had abandoned the car and gone home to play video games, later calling the police to report his car had been stolen.

Sure sounds like taking responsibility to me.

But no matter how sorry he might claim to be, there is no way to justify just two years behind bars for murder.

If he had used any other choice of weapon, from a gun or knife, to a rock or broken beer bottle, it would undoubtedly have been taken more seriously.

Or maybe the problem was just a victim on two wheels, with a Hispanic name.

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A conservative columnist goes out of his way to illustrate exactly what’s wrong with America’s political divide, saying it’s time for liberals to get the hell out.

And they should use “public transportation or ride your ridiculous bikes in your ridiculous bike shorts to your shriveled hearts’ content!” somewhere else, while all those “normal” Americans keep gleefully destroying the planet with their massive SUVs.

Except by repeatedly plugging his books makes it all come off as a shameless effort just to sell a few more.

I don’t care whether you’re conservative, liberal or anything else. Or whether you walk, bike, ride transit or drive.

We’re all need to stop demonizing one another, and work together to make this country succeed.

Period.

And the same goes for our cities and states.

Because the alternative isn’t pretty.

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CiclaValley offers a firsthand view of what it’s like to blow a tire during a descent.

And to have members of one university cycling team help you up while their rival school just rides on by.

Fortunately, he escaped relatively unscathed, walking away with a few bruises and a banged up wheel.

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I want to be like them when I grow up.

A 73-year old Cherokee elder in Oklahoma overcame excessive weight and crippling diets by taking up bicycling in his 60s; now he’s off insulin, and rides across the reservation when he’s not competing in races around the world.

A 77-year old Chicago woman is biking across the US with a group of other older riders.

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Local

You still can’t legally ride an e-scooter in Torrance. The city is slow-walking approving e-scooters, even as other South Bay cities are moving forward with legalizing them.

Speaking of the South Bay, a Kiwi writer raves about his visit to the beachside cities, including an extensive description of a guided bike tour along the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

Long Beach is planning a $1 million project to add bike lanes along Edwards Blvd to connect the quarter-mile street with the beach. Correction: Wrong Long Beach, dammit; this one’s in New York. Thanks to Chris Buonomo and James for the correction.

Long Beach police use fake bullets to apprehend a bike rider with a fake gun.

State

The Mercury News comes to the not-so-shocking conclusion that some people don’t like Complete Streets or improving safety if it means they’re going to be slightly inconvenienced.

At least one city is making progress in fighting bike theft, as the crime drops 25% in San Francisco.

Speaking of San Francisco, Uber-owned Jump dockless ebikes are cutting into Uber’s own car-hailing business in the Bay Area. And the company says they couldn’t be happier.

National

The Atlantic says Washington’s Birthday used to be celebrated by taking your bike for a spin, instead of countless car and mattress sales.

Traditionally libertarian Nevada is considering a proposal to require anyone under 18 to wear a bike helmet when they ride.

The Colorado legislature is considering following LA’s bad example by banning red light cameras in an apparent attempt to keep the streets dangerous.

A bighearted Michigan man founded a program to give bicycles to local kids, refurbishing and buying 150 bicycles in its first year.

Cambridge MA is making progress in its goal of reducing car ownership, but is only halfway towards its goal of a 15% reduction by next year.

Residents in a Louisiana city vow to fight a plan for an offroad bike path that could require removing trees and roadside signs.

Kindhearted Florida cops dug into their own wallets to buy a new bike for a man in his 80s after his was stolen.

Heartbreaking story from Florida, where a man was killed in a crash while riding his bike, the same day searchers fund the body of his missing daughter in a swamp; relatives don’t believe he had learned about her death before he was killed.

International

Ella Cycling Tips examines the studies, and concludes that what you wear or what sex you are may affect how closely drivers pass you. Or maybe not.

Cycling Weekly examines how much protein bicyclists really need in their diet.

Bike Radar considers what they consider the five most confusing topics in bicycling.

You may be out of luck if your bike gets stolen in London, as a special police bike theft unit is redeployed to fight youth knife crime.

A British woman got three years for crash that left a bike rider with serious brain damage; she was still high on coke from the night before when she ran him down in the early afternoon crash — 16 times the legal limit, in fact.

A polite Brit bike thief returned a purloined two-wheeler with a note of apology, saying he borrowed it to avoid a three-mile walk home at three in the morning.

A new Irish TV series explores the lack of bike lanes in the Emerald Isle compared to the rest of Europe. If you can’t imagine a TV show like that in the US, let alone a series, there’s probably a good reason for that.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list, which must be getting kind of long by now — a mountain biking trek through the South Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan. Unless maybe you’d rather experience India’s tropical state of Goa.

Officials say road safety must be improved in Zambia, where bicyclists and pedestrians make up 70% of traffic deaths.

Competitive Cycling

No ego here. The legendary Eddy Merckx says yes, Peter Sagan is complete cyclist, but he was better.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas insists he is definitely not riding in the Giro this year.

A Canadian cyclist rode 5249 laps around a velodrome in 24 hours — the equivalent of 457 miles — to raise funds for much needed repairs; he brought in over $59,000, more than doubling the original $25,000 goal.

Finally…

Nothing goes together like bikes and booze. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting a monitor lizard stuck in our spokes.

And why shovel the stuff when you can just ride your own bicycle snow plow?

Morning Links: New scooter hits Westside LA, ambivalent results in LA helmet study, and stay off the sidewalk

There’s a new player in LA’s Westside scooter wars.

The Wheels scooter program has started spreading across the US, offering riders the opportunity to sit rather than stand.

Which means a lower center of gravity and greater stability — especially with the wider tires.

Unlike ebikes, there are no pedals, just small pegs to support your feet.

I’m told they’ve been a hit in San Diego, where they’ve already been on the streets for a few weeks. And from what I saw over the weekend, they’re proving pretty popular here as well.

Even if their website doesn’t show up on a Google search.

………

More grist for the great helmet debate.

A new study shows 1,454 bike crash victims were treated at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center over a three-year period; 70% were injured in a crash with a motor vehicle.

Just 14% of the patients were wearing helmets. Yet the prevalence of significant head trauma was virtually the same whether or not the victims were wearing helmets — 35% of the victims were without helmets, compared to 34% of the patients with helmets.

Something tells me just what that means will depend entirely on whatever you already think about bike helmets.

………

A New Yorker flips the script, calling for no more car lanes until drivers get off the sidewalk.

………

Then there’s this from the dawn of bicycling.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. Pasadena police targeted dangerous driving on Friday, ticketing 158 drivers over a nine-hour period. And for once, not a single mention of a scofflaw bicyclist.

The sharrows on Hermosa Ave in Hermosa Beach have been renamed in honor of former Public Works Commissioner Julian Katz, known in the community for his love of bicycling.

Long Beach is partially closing 2nd Street at the end of the month to remove the median and build a new bike lane between Marina Drive and the Seal Beach city limits.

State

A Cambria bike shop lost over $100,000 worth of bicycles when thieves cut through a wall from a warehouse, making off with over 50 bikes.

Lime is continuing its recent nationwide pullout from the bikeshare business, withdrawing its bicycles from the Bay Area to focus on e-scooters.

A Bay Area transportation columnist displays his windshield bias, doubling down on a request for pedestrians to wear reflective clothing —  and carry flashlights — so drivers don’t run them over, despite well-deserved criticism.

National

Trek CEO John Burke pens a lengthy op-ed calling for the bike industry to increase its advocacy efforts and funding. Someone tell him he could always start by buying an ad here. Just saying.

Bicycling recommends the best and worst airlines for bike-riding travelers.

Strava’s new route building app promises to help you find the best route to your destination in any city — even someplace you’ve never been..

Mountain bikers near my hometown call on the county to reverse a ban on ebikes on unpaved trails.

A Denver bike rider won a jaw dropping $52.5 million judgement after he was paralyzed when he was hit by a business truck while riding in a bike lane, then run over by a hit-and-run driver.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a 19-year old driver got the minimum sentence in the hit-and-run death of a man riding his bike. Note to Hays Post: If you’re going to run a story like that, you might want to mention what that actual sentence was. And no, the car didn’t flee the scene, the driver in it did.

Friends call for improvements after a beloved Boston librarian was killed when she was hit by the driver of a cement truck.

That’s more like it. Atlanta commits $80 million to redesigning city roadways after 75% of people attending community meetings call for complete streets.

New York delivery riders are fighting back against the city’s ridiculous ebike ban, calling it persecution against the mostly immigrant workforce.

The Bieb is one of us, going for a bike ride with his minister in New York.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d rob three New Orleans kids at gunpoint to steal a bicycle.

A 19-year old man is under arrest for the drunken, underage hit-and-run that killed a Louisiana man and injured his grandson as they were riding together.

International

Treehugger says bike lanes are transportation and should be kept clear year-round. While we don’t get snow in LA, our bike lanes are too often blocked by parked cars and trucks, trash cans, sofas, sand and other assorted obstacles.

A British man credits a fall off his bike with saving his life when paramedics discovered a lump that led to a diagnosis of testicular cancer.

Caught on vide: A Scottish bike rider dresses down a pair of cops who drove through a red light, nearly hitting him.

Cork, Ireland officials say yes, several retail shops have closed recently, but the carfree makeover of a downtown street is not to blame.

A Kentucky newspaper asks if it’s safe to ride the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan, following last year’s ISIS terrorist attack that left four bicyclists dead, including two Americans.

Mumbai appointed its first bicycle mayor. Which is exactly one more than Los Angeles has.

A New Zealand site looks at the bikelash on the country’s streets, and wonders what can be done to calm drivers’ irrational anger.

A writer says it looks like a bleak future for bike riders on streets dominated by cars in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Finally…

If your girlfriend is pressuring you to pay the electric bill, riding your bike to rob a burger joint probably isn’t the best answer. The Warner Brothers — yes, those Warner Bros — were bike shop owners before they got into the movie business.

And if you’re carrying meth and crack on a stolen moped without a license plate, stay the hell out of the bike lane.

Or better yet, just stay the hell out of the bike lane, period. And off the sidewalk, too.

Morning Links: Hope for LACBC, Paul Smith ghost bike removed already, and study on the dangers of e-scooters

One quick note before we get started.

Last Friday, I had a very pleasant talk with Communications Director Dana Variano and new Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, aka LACBC.

I won’t go into details, since everything we discussed was off the record. But we had a very frank and open discussion about the state of bicycling in general, and the state of the LACBC in general.

Suffice it to say that Kaufman recognizes that he’s got a steep learning curve to get a firm grasp on LA bike culture and street safety.

And he’s well aware of the problems facing the LACBC after drifting far too long without effective leadership.

But he’s committed to listening and improving communications, which has been a major problem as long as I’ve been involved with the coalition, as a member and former board member.

And to making the hard decisions the LACBC will need to return to being an effective voice for LA bicyclists.

I left the meeting feeling like the LACBC is in good hands.

And with a little hope for the first time in a long time.

………

Disappointing news from Seal Beach, where Eric Dalton reports the ghost bike for Paul Smith has already been removed, less than three weeks after he was killed.

The popular church leader was riding on PCH at Seal Beach Blvd when he was run down from behind by an allegedly speeding driver.

At this point, there’s no word on who removed the ghost bike, or why.

But it’s heartbreaking that someone apparently didn’t think he was worth remembering for even a month.

Let alone reminding drivers of the dangers of SoCal’s killer highway.

………

A new UCLA study shows e-scooters pose pretty much the same risks you might think.

Of the nearly 250 people treated by UCLA medical centers in Westwood and Santa Monica as a result of scooter injuries, the overwhelming majority of injuries were suffered by the people riding them — not pedestrians struck by them, as we are so often led to believe.

“In this study of a case series, 249 patients presented to the emergency department with injuries associated with electric scooter use during a 1-year period, with 10.8% of patients younger than 18 years,” says the January 25 paper by Tarak K. Trivedi, Charles Liu, and Anna Liza M. Antonio.

“The most common injuries were fractures (31.7%), head injuries (40.2%), and soft-tissue injuries (27.7%).”

“Only 10 riders were documented as wearing a helmet, constituting 4.4% of all riders,” the report notes. “Twelve patients (4.8%) had physician-documented intoxication or a blood alcohol level greater than 0.05%

Of course, there’s no word on the severity of the head injuries, which could have been anything from simple cuts to concussions, skull fractures or cranial bleeding.

And no way to know whether helmets could have prevented them.

Then there’s this from Forbes.

Not all of the injured patients had been riding scooters. Eleven had been hit by scooters, and five had tried to lift scooters. Another five had simply tripped over parked scooters, which is what can happen when there are Bird or Lime droppings on the sidewalk.

In other words, despite the panicked response to this study in the media, over 90% of the injuries were to the people riding them. So just like with bicyclists, even the most careless riders are a danger primarily to themselves.

Just wait until the study authors discover how many people get hurt by cars every day.

Which is not to say everyone shouldn’t ride safely, so they don’t pose a risk to themselves or anyone else.

And for chrissakes, don’t leave your damn scooter on the sidewalk, or anywhere else it can pose a danger to anyone.

Especially people with handicaps.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads up.

………

NHL All-Stars Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang apparently didn’t get the memo that scooters are dangerous, arriving at the game on a pair of Lime e-scooters.

………

Howard Valai forwards video of what it looks like when an LA Metro bus passes about a foot off your handlebar.

If anyone had opened the door on any of those cars, he could have seriously injured. Or worse.

………

Life is cheap when you ride a bicycle.

A Colorado truck driver gets an all-too-brief 90 days behind bars, and 120 days work release, for running down a 17-year old boy from behind as he rode in a bike lane, then fleeing the scene and leaving his victim seriously injured in the street.

A speeding hit-and-run Maryland driver got just 18 months behind bars for running a red light and killing a Smithsonian IT specialist who was riding his bike to work last September.

A teenage driver walked with community service for killing a bike rider in the UK by trying to pass on a narrow country road at 60 mph — which the driver’s lawyer wrote off as a simple misjudgment. One that cost an innocent man his life.

But sometimes justice gets done.

Like the Florida driver who got over 13 years behind bars for the drunken, high-speed crash that killed a man on a bicycle.

Or the Japanese man who got a well-deserved 18 years for the road rage death of a motorbike rider, intentionally slamming into him after briefly chasing his bike. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

………

I don’t even know what to make of this one.

In a video posted to an anti-bike group, an Aussie driver drove down a bike path to swear at a couple of cyclists for riding in the roadway instead of on the parallel path.

No, seriously.

Needless to say, opinions on the auto-centric site ran in favor of the foulmouthed driver, with one poster calling for him to be named Australian of the year.

………

If you haven’t already, mark your calendar for International Winter Bike to Work Day on February 8th. We should be able to show a good turnout here in Southern California, where Viking Biking means you might have to put fenders on your bike.

UCLA will host a panel discussion on Transportation as a Public Health Issue this Wednesday, with Dr. Muntu Davis of the LA County Department of Public Health, Juan Matute of UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds.

The LACBC will hold a historic tour of San Fernando and Pacoima Sunday morning as part of their monthly Sunday Funday rides, which promises to get you home in time for the Super Bowl.

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Local

Cycling scion and three-time national time trial champ Taylor Phinney takes his new team on a tour of the City of Angels and prove he knows it well, including stops at Bicycle Coffee and Golden Saddle Cyclery.

The editor of USC’s Daily Trojan takes a very auto-centric view of Metro’s proposed congestion pricing, saying transportation will always be a citywide struggle. Meanwhile, that Metro proposal also includes possible ride-hailing fees on Uber and Lyft, and shared-mobility fees on dockless bikeshare and e-scooters.

South Pasadena has accepted $332,000 from Metro to pay for the upcoming 626 Golden Streets open streets event through South Pas, Alhambra and San Gabriel this May.

A Santa Clarita letter writer says please leave your bikeshare bikes in the racks where you’re supposed to, rather than abandon them anywhere.

Long Beach police are looking for a serial groper on a distinctive lime green bicycle who’s attacked four women in separate assaults.

Former pro cyclist and current Long Beach Bike Ambassador Tony Cruz had his bicycle stolen last week; be on the lookout for an $8,000 Felt FR1 carbon bike with Sram e-Tap shifters and $1,300 Mavic Carbon Cosmics wheels.

State

State workers can now get reimbursed for their dockless ebike and scooter rides.

Some things never change. Nice to see the OC Register is still giving voice to ridiculously conservative anti-transit op-eds, despite layoffs and ownership changes, and a Congressional map that’s turned solid blue. The paper also says drivers probably don’t know what a sharrow is, which is probably true.

Bike advocate Roberta Walker has begun a rehab program after suffering extensive brain and spinal injuries when she was run down by a driver on PCH in Leucadia last month, while Encinitas has begun rehabbing the roadway to keep it from happening to someone else. A crowdfunding page has raised over $97,000 of the $125,000 goal to help pay her hospital and rehabilitation expenses.

Camarillo police are looking for a man in his 20s who assaulted a woman who was walking on a bike path; fortunately, she was able to fight them off.

An Oakland woman has been charged in the hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 14-year old boy, who was dragged three blocks under her car after she hit his bike; she was already on probation for a DUI conviction last fall.

As we mentioned last week, Marin transportation officials want to cut the four-year pilot program for a bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to just six months, so they can declare it a failure and turn it back over to people in cars.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 24 bikes from a bicycling club at a Modesto elementary school. And just the opposite for a kindhearted people who replaced 20 of them.

The CHP does more than catch speeders on the freeway. A Redding mountain biker was airlifted to a hospital after apparently breaking his leg in a fall.

National

Great. The plague of LA-based traffic safety deniers has gone national, forming the new agitprop group Keep the US Moving to spread their virtually fact-free campaign to keep our streets deadly and halt all road diets, anywhere. Thanks to Peter Flax for the tip.

Okay, now I’m impressed. Idris Elba is one of us, going for a casual bike ride with his fiancé in Hawaii.

The route has been announced for this year’s 450-mile Ride the Rockies, featuring 28,000 feet of elevation gain through the Colorado high country.

A Minnesota singer found the inspiration for her debut album in the hum of her bike chain.

She gets it. A columnist for the New York Post says drivers are getting away with murder.

New York is still trying to figure out how to deal with ebikes and scooters.

Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city doesn’t have the resources to go after drivers who block bike lanes. Which is odd, since most of them seem to be NYPD cops.

Mississippi bicyclists ride 6.6 miles in honor of fallen cyclists.

International

Drivers and doors aren’t the only things we have to worry about. A Vancouver bicyclist was killed when he somehow collided with the friend he was riding with, and fell into the path of a truck.

Canada has cancelled plans for a $65.9 million bike path paralleling a scenic highway through the Rocky Mountains due to environmental concerns and high costs. But all those cars spewing smog are just fine, thank you.

Calgary’s new e-assist bikeshare is a huge hit, even in the winter cold and snow.

The UK could save the equivalent of over $420 million if bicycling could be made as popular in the rest of the country as it is in London.

Well deserved. A British triathlete was fined the equivalent of more than $1200 for aggressively passing a horse and rider on the curb side, colliding with them as causing the horse to bolt, injuring the rider.

The German ambassador to Pakistan went out of his way to find a locally made bike, because he wanted that Made in Pakistan stamp to show his support for the country’s people.

A bighearted South African boy broke open his own piggy bank to buy a new bicycle for a gas station attendant he befriended.

Sad news from New Zealand, where a 32-year old elite cyclist is dying of intestinal cancer, saying she should have pushed harder for a diagnosis after suffering from years of stomach pain.

A Singaporean news channel examines why the island city has yet to become a bicycling paradise, pointing a finger at the heat and rain, and a lack of safe space on the road.

Competitive Cycling

Long Beach will host this year’s Paratriathlon National Championships in June.

Cycling Tips looks at how a little known cyclist from Cuba beat the world’s best women’s riders in the Cadel Road Race.

Road.cc offers advice on how to step up from riding sportives to your first actual bike race.

The LA Times says Zwift’s new esports league is just like pro cycling, but without the turns or crashes, and with actual pro cycling teams.

Finally…

You may not have to worry about drivers on a bike path, but keep your eyes peeled for pigs. How to build a bicycle sidecar out of an empty beer keg; make it a full keg, and you’ve got a deal.

And nothing sells Danish beer like a good bike ride.

Morning Links: Don’t walk the streets of Bakersfield, Wag heads enter scooter wars, and bike hating deer

Even Buck Owens would probably think twice about walking the streets of Bakersfield these days.

The Central Valley city is the seventh most deadly city for people to walk in the US, and the only one in the top nine that’s not in Florida.

Then again, you probably don’t want to walk at all in the Bible Belt.

Surprisingly, though, Los Angeles didn’t even make the top 20.

………

A new Los Angeles-based startup created by the founders of the Wag dog walking service has hit the streets of San Diego.

Jonathan and Joshua Viner are positioning Wheels as the next generation in dockless personal mobility, a cross between an e-scooter and mini-bicycle that allows the rider to be seated instead of standing.

You can even recharge your cellphone. And play your music while you’re at it.

………

We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about taking a massive header over a bike-hating deer.

Usually.

………

Turns out the left lane isn’t always the fast lane.

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Local

Sahra Sulaiman writes that Leimert Park bike crew Black Kids on Bikes passed the community service torch to a younger generation of bike riders at this year’s King Day Parade.

Streetsblog says the Arroyo Seco Bike/Walk Path is damaged from the recent rains, but still passable.

Popular Mechanics recommends three affordably priced bikes from Burbank’s Pure Cycles.

Homegrown bike service company Pedal Movement will take over operation of the Long Beach Bike Share, which will be expanding into more areas of the city.

State

The Orange County physician who prescribed drugs to driver who fatally ran down Costa Mesa firefighter Mike Kreza has pled not guilty to charges of illegally prescribing opioids; drugs from the alleged Dr. Feelgood also made their way into the hands of the Borderline shooter.

An Anaheim man was killed in a suspected gang shooting while riding his bicycle Tuesday night.

Bike SD co-sponsored a one-night Holiday Lane last December, closing down a major Pacific Beach street for a carfree community celebration.

Hats off to a group of kindhearted Thousand Oaks teenagers, who are collecting 400 bicycles, as well as wheelchairs, crutches and shipping costs, for impoverished kids in Puerto Rico and Africa.

A San Luis Obispo Facebook group forms the basis of a 280 member, all female mountain biking group called SLO Dirt Girls.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed when a driver was briefly blinded by another car’s headlights.

Candidates for the board of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition are being challenged on whether the bike advocacy group should accept money from car companies.

The Marin transportation board wants to steal a lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge back from pedestrians and bicyclists just a tad sooner than expected, cutting a promised pilot program from four years to six months so they can give it back to motorists.

Friends can’t explain why a Marin County man was riding bike on a freeway, where he was struck and killed by at least three separate drivers as he swerved back and forth across all three traffic lanes.

National

He gets it. In a Newsweek op-ed, a GOP advisor questions why car-choked cities are banning e-scooters. More proof that common sense traffic solutions are not a partisan issue.

A new analytical tool based on publicly available cellphone data allows cities to get a more detailed picture of how many people are walking and biking, and where they’re going.

CNN recommends walking or riding a bikeshare bike to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling for business.

The Shift Up podcast discusses why a Denver man shuttered his bike shop, and started his own line of $800 DIY cargo bike kits.

Denver gives its Vision Zero program a passing grade, even though traffic fatalities are up in the Mile High City.

You may soon be able to get drunk and ride your bike in North Dakota. Or your horse.

They get it. A Minnesota newspaper tells readers to be a hero and don’t drive distracted.

Seriously? A Minnesota police chief is serving a one week suspension for choking a 12-year old boy he mistakenly thought was trying to steal his mountain bike, when the kid was actually just trying to pick it up after it had been knocked down. I hate bike thieves as much as anyone, but he should have been fired the moment he put his hands on the kid’s neck.

New York police are looking for a bike rider who attacked an Uber driver and his car with a U-lock, then jumped on the roof and hood when the driver attempted to get away. There’s never an excuse for violence. But you’d think the press might wonder what the driver might have done to provoke it.

Residents of New York’s West Village complain about derelict bicycles left on the sidewalks.

A New Orleans artist yarn bombed a bikeshare bike, covering everything but the wheels and pedals.

Fort Lauderdale FL is banning e-scooters during spring break, apparently preferring to jam the streets with smog belching cars than allow partying students to get around on small, clean machines.

A Miami TV station shows video of the Wheels Up, Guns Down protest in Miami that led to a white driver pulling a gun and yelling racial epithets at a group of black teenagers; the bike riders were protesting the redevelopment of a housing project. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

International

Road.cc tests whether the new Pinarello Nytro ebike is faster uphill than a lightweight roadie.

Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry discusses why he loves riding his Vogue Elite bicycle around London. Note to Christies — it’s called a Dutch-style bicycle, not a ladies bike.

Sad news from Columbia, where a former dean from Vassar College was killed less than two-thirds of a mile into a planned 750-mile ride through the country.

Bolivia’s famed Death Road proved aptly named for a New Zealand bike rider, who slipped off a rain-slicked roadway and down a cliff while on a mountain bike tour with his fiancée.

Victoria, British Columbia plans to sacrifice a tree in one of the city’s busiest intersections to make room for bike lanes and a scramble crosswalk; urban forest advocates say not so fast.

For a monthly fee, a Dutch startup provides a working transportation bike and handles all the maintenance and repairs.

The most shocking thing about this video of a Swiss synchronized cycling team isn’t their amazing performance, it’s that AOL is still around.

National Geographic looks at the new 1,500-mile bike path that will connect cities and towns in eight Balkan countries when it’s completed. Thanks to the Previn Report for the heads-up.

A 27-year old Afghan man is trying to improve children’s literacy by riding his bike across the country handing out free books.

A homeless Australian man pled guilty to the hit-and-run death of a bicycling Dutch tourist; he was speeding at twice the speed limit in a stolen car on his way to buy drugs when he crashed the car.

Finally…

Now you, too, can be a virtual pro cyclist. Cars burst into flames, bikes aren’t supposed to.

And maybe there’s a better place they could have put this.

Just saying.

Morning Links: Bighearted San Jose cops, shredding mountain bike firefighter, and e-scooter dog cruelty

Somehow I lost this one on my desktop over the holidays.

Robert Leone forwards news of bighearted San Jose cops who pitched in to buy a new bicycle for their favorite shoe shine person, after his was damaged when he was hit by a car before Thanksgiving.

Thanks and apologies to Robert Leone for the delay in posting this one.

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No, that’s not a professional mountain biker. It’s an Orange County firefighter.

And officially one of the nation’s fastest non-pro downhill racers.

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Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have dogs.

Or ride scooters.

Bakersfield police are looking for a woman who was caught on video dragging a dog behind an e-scooter going an estimated 15 mph.

Let’s hope they find her, and take both of them away. Permanently.

And yes, the video is just as disturbing as it says.

………

Local

After advocates managed to beat back an anti-road diet motion from traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving, the L.A. Neighborhood Council Coalition approved a more neutral motion calling for community input on road diets. But as Streetsblog’s Joe Linton points out, no one demands community engagement for most driver-friendly changes.

Downtown News says the Los Angeles River Bike Path Gap Closure Project has the potential to be a key component in a regional bike network, but with a gasp-inducing $365 million price tag and an overly long timeline.

More mass insanity, as speed limits go up in Westwood and Century City, including the popular bike route Ohio Ave.

Metro is now offering Pedal Perks to bikeshare members; 50 rides will get you a Metro Bike Share T-shirt.

A new app allows you to plan your trip by comparing transit, bikeshare, ride-hailing and carpooling for 15 cities around the world, including Los Angeles.

The Santa Clarita Valley is peppered with a network of bike and walking paths to take users back to nature, thanks in part to the efforts of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, the LACBC’s neighborhood chapter for the area.

State

A CHP officer says police are more likely to ticket bike riders under 18 for not wearing a helmet, now that it’s a fix-it ticket rather than a traffic fine.

All those new bike lanes in San Luis Obispo must be doing some good, with bicycle crashes down to their lowest level in the 20 years the city has been keeping track.

The rich get richer. An outgoing San Francisco city supervisor unveiled yet another protected bike lane in the City by the Bay on her last day in office.

A San Francisco bike rider got stuck with a $20,000 bill from the city’s largest hospital following a bike crash, learning the hard way that the hospital named after Mark Zuckerberg is out-of-network for everyone.

A Marin paper says a new study shows too many people on bikes and on foot are getting hit by motorists, and calls on everyone to pay attention and play by the rules.

National

Outside looks at the rise of e-mountain bikes, saying the quality keeps getting better, despite the vitriol they elicit. Especially if you’ve got ten grand or more to spend on one.

The Peloton community raised over $37,000 for a man suffering from cancer, after his wife posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to buy hers to help pay for her treatment.

Students at the University of Arkansas are about to get a new cycle track and sidewalks leading through campus.

This is who we share the roads with. A Michigan Uber driver has pled guilty to shooting eight people between fares, killing six.

A Pittsburgh letter writer says bike riders should be subsidized, not taxed, because they reduce overall car usage.

An Adirondack, New York newspaper thanks the state’s governor for finishing the 34-mile rail-to-trail Adirondack Rail Trail.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who ran down a New Jersey man delivering food to the homeless on his bicycle, leaving hm to die alone in the street.

International

Road.cc looks at six of the best bike locks to help keep your bike from getting stolen.

Havana’s new docked bikeshare system is turning out to be more popular than expected, even with just 60 bicycles.

A Winnipeg city counselor says screw the bike lanes, clear snow off the roads and sidewalks first.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A bighearted Montreal man anonymously gave over 1,700 bicycles to disadvantaged kids over the last 34 years of his life, earning the nickname the Bike Man; it was only after his death that his true identity finally came out.

Prince Charles is one of us. Or at least he was during his college days.

British foldie bikemaker Brompton isn’t taking chances, stockpiling the equivalent of nearly $1.3 million in parts in case a “shit hits the fan” Brexit disaster strikes, which is looking more likely every day.

Now that’s more like it. Police in an English city have opened a web portal allowing people to submit bike and dashcam videos and still photos showing traffic violations. It would take a law change to allow police to use videos and photos in California. And it should be.

No, using a motor vehicle to intentionally knock someone off their bike isn’t a prank, it’s assault with a deadly weapon.

Even Azerbaijan is becoming bike friendly.

Thor is one of us. Or at least the actor who plays him, as Chris Hemsworth goes for a shirtless bike ride with his family in their Australian hometown.

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has a new CEO after hiring the former head of New Balance; he’s one of us, too.

New Paralympics individual pursuit champ Clara Brown won her title eleven years after she was paralyzed from the neck down, and just five months after taking up track cycling.

Finally…

If you’re going to make your getaway by bicycle, make sure you’re faster than the bike cop chasing you. No, the correct usage of a kid’s bike is not smashing the windshield of the person you’re arguing with.

And now you can have your very own bike airbag, just like all the cool people in cars (scroll down).

Morning Links: Lime wins LA approvals, other cities fight climate change while LA does nothing, and snipping Ottolock

Lime has become the second company to win official approval to deploy scooters in the City of Los Angeles. 

The company follows Uber-owned JUMP, which received its permit a month ago

However, the hopes of many Angelenos that Lime would bring its dockless ebikes to the streets of LA may remain unfulfilled, at least for now. 

This is the press release Lime sent out yesterday announcing the approval

Scooter photo from Lime website.

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Leave it to Minnesotans to show LA’s supposedly progressive leaders how to deal with traffic and climate change.  

As part of the city’s new housing and transportation plan, Minneapolis is eliminating parking minimums throughout the city

But that’s just the beginning. 

The plan calls for discouraging new surface parking lots, and prohibits new gas stations and drive-throughs. It also bans auto-oriented land use, such as auto repair shops, near transit stations, along with even stricter parking restrictions.

And in a move that would send Los Angeles NIMBYs running to their lawyers, it calls for increased density near traffic, and allows triplex apartments in every neighborhood — even those currently zoned for single family homes. 

The goal is to — wait for it — cut the number of local driving trips by 40%, while reducing emissions 80% in the next 30 years.

Compare that to the current Los Angeles policy, which is to hope that self-driving electric cars will somehow magically save us from having to make any tough choices. 

Good luck with that. 

These are all actions LA should take as quickly as possible, since California is already failing to meet its climate change goals.

And would, if the actions of our “progressive” leaders equalled their pro-environment, anti-climate change words. 

Instead, they’ll continue to fiddle while Rome burns in fear of further aggravating already angry drivers, and the dwindling number of homeowners who can actually afford a million-dollar single family starter home. 

Never mind making the hard choices the city, and our world, demand. 

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A little closer to home, Sacramento followed the Minneapolis model by voting to ban new gas stations, drive-through restaurants and auto repair shops within a quarter mile of light rail stations, while requiring a conditional use permit with a half mile. 

The city will also eliminate off-street parking requirements within a quarter mile, and loosen restrictions in a half-mile radius around transit stations. 

Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles, 

<crickets>

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Evidently, the popular Kickstarter sensation the Ottolock may be pretty and convenient, but may not protect your bike from thieves

In fact, it can apparently be cut through in just seconds. 

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It may not be the Twelve Days of Christmas yet.

But it is first day of the last 12 days of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, as we begin the final countdown on our year-end fundraiser!

Please take a few moments to join the 34 others who’ve already given their hard-earned money to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, and help keep this site coming your way every day.

You can donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world. Then write off the full cost on your taxes next year!

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Local

LA County approved 58 miles of multi-use, hiking, mountain-biking and equestrian trails in the Santa Susana Mountains near Santa Clarita. 

Bicycling looks at the international manhunt that belatedly brought Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes to justice in the hit-and-run death of Agustin Rodriguez, Jr. as he rode to work in Whittier nearly two years ago. 

CiclaValley continues his tale of ‘cross crashes and victory

State

San Diego bike advocates cautiously support the creation of a new mobility board that combines the previous bicycle advisory and parking advisory boards. Yes, parking.  

The planned Complete Streets makeover of San Francisco’s Market Street gets a $15 million infusion from the feds

Marin residents debate whether to allow ebikes on the trails recognized as the birthplace of mountain biking, as bike riders explain how the bikes allowed them to return to the activity they love, despite advancing age, illness and injuries. The local paper sort ofendorses approving ebikes, while saying safety is paramount

Napa bicyclists are giving back with their time and money to help maintain the Napa Valley Vine Trail.

National

People For Bikes calls for mobility for all

Steve Carell is one of us, describing his “fun fan encounter” with the woman who ran him down from behind on his bike. Eighty-eight-year old Gene Hackman is one of us, too.

Clean Technica says urban planners should ignore the reactionary anti-ebike steps taken by Israel and New York, because ebikes offer strong benefits to cities and counties

Pink Bike considers the future of bike industry trade shows in a wake of Interbike’s announcement it won’t hold a show in 2019. Or maybe ever. 

No surprise here. Oregon’s $15 tax on the sale of all new bicycles over $200 is bringing in far less revenue than expected, collecting less than half of the projected $2.1 million

This is why people continue to die on our streets. After a 92-year old holocaust survivor was killed by an Oregon motorist, the local police rushed to blame the victim and exonerate the driver.

The Seattle Times endorses plans to complete the missing link in a 20-mile bike trail with a protected bike lane in the public right-of-way, despite alternative facts from area business owners. 

A Washington man who helped preserve the area’s last undeveloped natural space will be honored with a permanent memorial where he died after suffering an aneurism while mountain biking. 

The usual debate over bike lanes and road diets rears its ugly head in Colorado Springs CO, as supporters and opponents confront the topic at a city council meeting

‘Tis the season. Residents at a Wisconsin retirement home received two three-wheeled pedicabs from the Cycling Without Age program as an early holiday present. 

Boston bike riders want to city to cancel plans to remove flex posts that mark a protected bike lane on a bridge over the Charles River; the city plans to take them out to make it easier to salt and plow the bridge for motorists. 

The usual battle over who owns the streets is heating up in Harrisburg PA, as the city installs a number of projects intended to slow traffic and give more space back to local residents, bicyclists and pedestrians. 

International

A lawyer and former paramedic describes what it’s like to be on the receiving end of emergency treatment after experiencing the dreaded death wobble while descending on his bike at 40 mph. 

Not only did the authors of Vancouver’s Modacity bring their own Christmas tree home by bicycle, they’re collecting photos of other people around the world doing the same thing

Victoria, British Columbia asks the court to dismiss a lawsuit from the Canadian Federation of the Blind alleging that the design of the city’s protected bike lanes violate the human rights of sightless people. 

London plans to remove parking to make room for the first of the city’s cycle superhighways in South London.  

No bias here. A British paper automatically concludes a bike rider was at fault in a road rage dispute with a London cab driver who accused him of riding off after crashing into a pedestrian. From what I can see, they both come off as a pair of total jerks

The UK’s Cycling magazine offersa reminder that booze and bicycling don’t mix

Oslo crowdsources traffic data using children biking and walking to school. And discovers it works better than expected. 

Bikeshare comes to the streets of Tehran

Syrian social movement has gotten over 4,000 women on bicycles, despite harassing catcalls and a country disrupted by civil war. 

This is the cost of traffic violence. The curator of South Africa’s world-famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden died after he was hit by a car while riding his bike earlier this month. 

A pair of ill-prepared roadies take part in The Pioneer trail race in New Zealand, part of the grueling Cape Series. 

No shit. The widow of an Australian bicyclist complains about the inadequate charges against a road raging driver who caused his death after getting out of his car to confront him; he faces a maximum of a lousy two years for three traffic offenses. 

Competitive Cycling

In a surprise announcement, British broadcaster Sky is pulling the plug on its sponsorship of Team Sky after next season, leaving the future of the cycling’s most dominant team up in the air.  Meanwhile, the BBC asks why now and what’s next?

As Sky leaves, McLaren moves in. The English Formula One giant will become half owner of Vincenzo Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida team.

Rouleur continues its interview with cycling great Bernard Hinault

Finally…

Forget Rapha; now you can wear Peter Sagan.  Bicycling’s most WTF moments of 2018.

And now you’ll be able to get a safety warning from the driverless car that’s about to run you down. 

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Thanks to Michael W for his generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to help keep this site coming to your screen every morning! 

Morning Links: Run down by e-scooter, scooters invade the SFV, and bicycling keeps your heart young — literally

Last night it was my turn.

I’ve seen and heard countless comments from people complaining about getting hit by e-scooters over the last year. In fact, two people in my building have been injured in collisions with scooter riders in the past few months. 

I almost joined them last night.  

The Corgi and I were walking on the sidewalk in a residential section of Hollywood Blvd when I saw three adult men on scooters coming up from behind. So we moved over to the grass to give them room, and they passed without incident.

But several seconds later, after we moved back onto the sidewalk, something slammed into me from behind with no warning.

I was still trying to figure out what the hell happened when I saw a man hurry to get back on his scooter and rush away, without a single word of apology or even a glance back to see if we were okay. 

Fortunately, neither one of us were seriously injured, though my back hurts everywhere as I write this several hours later. And I suspect I’m going to be pretty immobile for the next few days.

And he’s lucky he didn’t hit the Corgi, or Lime would need a proctologist to get their scooter back.

I know there are people think e-scooters should be banned because of incidents like this. 

But it wasn’t Lime who a) illegally rode on a residential sidewalk, b) had the throttle wide open trying to catch up to his friends, and c) tried to squeeze past us without a single word of warning.

E-scooters, like bicycles and cars, are just tools. 

And while steps can be taken to improve their safety, I don’t know any way of ensuring that jerks like that aren’t allowed to use them. 

After all, it hasn’t worked with motor vehicles yet. And probably never will, until we take humans out of the equation. 

One quick reminder: You’re required to stop and render aid, and exchange ID, after any crash, whether in a car, on a bike or riding an e-scooter. Anyone who fails to do so can be charged with hit-and-run — besides being a total schmuck.

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Speaking of e-scooters, they’re about to make their first big push into the San Fernando Valley

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Here’s one more reason to ride a bike. 

NPR reports that seniors who exercise regularly can have hearts that look 30 years younger

And yes, ped-assist ebikes count, too.

So I can safely say that after a lifetime of bicycling, the rest of me may be reaching its expiration date, but my heart can still hit run circles around hearts half its age. 

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It’s Day 20 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

If you haven’t donated yet to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, please give today to BikinginLA coming your screen every morning.

You can donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, and the email address on this link.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

………

Local

As expected, the LA city council voted to raise speed limits on over 100 miles of surface streets throughout the city so police can legally use speed guns to enforce the new limits, as required by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law. Seriously, this law has to be changed. Because Vision Zero is nothing but a bunch of pretty platitudes if we keep increasing speeds to ever more dangerous levels

This is why people keep dying on our streets. In Los Angeles, you can flee the scene after killing a pedestrian with your car — even a successful musician — and walk away with nothing more than probation.  

Congratulations to CiclaValley, who’s so excited about his recent cyclocross win he had to break the story into multiple parts.  

State

The mayor of Encinitas calls for speeding up the timeline for safety improvements on the North Coast Highway following the crash that critically injured bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker.  

A hard-hitting Streetsblog editorial says a debate over a Complete Streets makeover of an Oakland street boils down to whether people in cars are worth more than everyone else.

National

According to a new report from the US Department of Transportation, the problem isn’t that traffic lanes are too small, it’s that fire trucks and other heavy vehicles are too damn big, saying smaller trucks could save lives while doing the job just as well. 

Fast Company relates five steps most cities go through to make themselves better, including stop doing the wrong things, and stop doing the wrong things better. LA is still stuck on that first step. Maybe permanently.   

new report from the Seattle DOT shows driving, bike riding and walking are down, while transit use and carpooling is up.  On the other hand, bike safety is improving, as Seattle bicycling deaths and injuries are down for the year.

An Idaho town is developing bikepacking trails of up to 180 miles to provide shorter alternatives to the state’s premier 600-mile adventure cycling route. 

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska judge sentenced a driver to 12 to 14 years for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, and revoked his driver’s license for 15 years. Hopefully, the clock on his license won’t start counting until after he gets out

Atlanta has the same problem Los Angeles has, as streets designed for speed are leading to an increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths

Candidates for Tampa mayor agree that street safety must be improved for bike riders and pedestrians

International

New figures from the World Health Organization show worldwide traffic deaths rose to around 1.35 million, with people traveling by foot or bicycle making up overt a quarter of those deaths. 

Road.cc explains everything you need to know about MIPS helmets

After a London butcher shop switched from delivery vans to e-cargo bikes, they reduced delivery times and expenses, and cut carbon emissions — while improving the health of their delivery people. 

Authorities in Liverpool, England released new images to show what a Complete Street makeover of a major street would look like — but removed any trace of a bike lane from the pictures

The Polish host city for the UN’s climate change talks now has a new bicycle mayor.  

lack of cycle tracks and safe bike parking keeps people in an Indian city from bicycling — and the cleaner air that would come with it. Sort of like just about everywhere else.

An Australian writer says male cyclists need to lose the attitude and encourage women riders like her

Not surprisingly, Japanese bicyclists have largely shunned a shuttle service that ferries bike riders across a bridge where bicycles are banned. 

Competitive Cycling

The new Continental cycling team sponsored by America’s other ex-Tour de France winner will be called Floyd’s Pro Cycling, after Canada denied permission to name the team after cannabis purveyor Floyd’s of Leadville.

Interesting move by the organizers of the four-stage Colorado Classic bike race, which is dropping the men’s race to focus solely on the women’s race going forward; the race will be the only standalone women’s-only bike race on the UCI and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour calendars.

VeloNews looks at how Ellen Noble overcame crippling anxiety attacks to become America’s top cyclocross racer this year.

Possibly the most successful mountain biker of all time, 45-year old Norwegian cyclist Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, decides to call it a career

Finally…

If you’re riding drunk, try not to fall off your bike— or crashing it when you try to get back on. When chasing volcanoes isn’t thrilling enough, open a bike shop.  

And what’s the point of being a bike snob if you’re just going to like stuff?

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